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Disability Rights UK response to joint committee report on Draft Care and Support Bill

21 March 2013

Disability Rights UK urges a sustainable funding solution to the current care crisis that is holding disabled people back from realising our aspirations and playing a full and equal part in society.

Responding to the joint committee’s report on the Draft Care and Support Bill, Liz Sayce OBE said:

“There is a real crisis in care. Resolving the crisis is as much a matter of funding as of law reform. We want the Government to put in place a sustainable system that raises the standards of social care and support, gives disabled people true control over our support and helps us realise their aspirations, breaking free from poverty and isolation.

Disability Rights UK welcomes the committee’s report and their message that the Government must provide an adequate funding solution if they want to deliver an effective social care system that fits around the individual and works for them.

We welcome the recognition of the importance of the well-being principle and its relation with human rights principles. We are pleased that the committee has said that the well-being principle must underpin the new eligibility framework. It must be designed so that it enables disabled people to access the support they need to live independently, take part in the community and make a contribution to society.

We have seen charges go up enormously over the past few years – disabled people have to pay more than they can afford or stop accessing care and support. We welcome the committee’s recommendation that charging must be reasonable – but we will be seeking further amendments to ensure that disabled people of working age can enjoy their income and save towards a house and a family.

Too often disabled people cannot move to another area because they do not know what care package they will get in the new area. We believe the Bill to be a positive step forwards but it doesn’t do enough to give disabled and older people and their families the confidence that they will be able to do the same things with the same level of choice and control in the new area. We are disappointed that the committee has not recognised that the Bill could have done more to give that reassurance without demanding ‘like-for-like’ services which would not be realistic. Making portability real would enable more disabled people to move to take up education and job opportunities or to live near relatives who can help care for them.”

You can view our response at http://disabilityrightsuk.org/draft-care-and-support-bill.